TEXTtile Project: Chapter Four Pick A Pocket, or Two!

Pockets and contents laid out before the game.
Pockets and contents laid out before the game.

Fresh from our successfully bookish outing to The Dickens Museum we were all fired up with literary inspiration and Dickensian drive.  The Dickens Museum is Charles’ once home at 48 Doughty Street, London and where he wrote the iconic Oliver Twist. This in mind we embarked on an object handling activity with a distinctively Fagen-esque feel.

To jog our memories of what we had experienced on our Friday trip to the Dickens Museum we started the session by reading our feedback postcards we had written in the museum café, which had all arrived safely via Royal Mail to St. Luke’s reception. After reflecting on what we had like most about our trip, ( see previous post) and then we got stuck into an Oliver Twist, themed game.

The idea of Pick A Pocket was to get the group interacting with mystery objects and create their own Dickensian characters and stories spun around them. In each pocket a secret, random object was placed. Each participant picked a pocket and, without looking inside it, we went round the table guessing what was secreted inside. In turn, we revealed what was inside our pocket and had only a few minutes to warm up our imagination muscles and create a profile of what kind of person owned the pocket we had picked. Who were they? Where were they going when we happened to pick their pocket? Why did they have that item in their pocket?

In turn, we revealed what the object was and had only a couple of seconds to think up a back history to our only clue, the small object. I was not sure how this would go being a bit abstract, but I needn’t have worried, in fact I should have had more faith in this unflappable  group. The TEXTtile makers rose to the occasion with detailed, complex and intriguing stories woven around their stolen item. Many elaborations on each others stories followed as we hastily captured our ideas in drawn form for inclusion in our very own book.

 ” I’ll have a go at most things. It’s good for the brain, trying new things. You are never too old to try new things! I wish there were more groups like this so more people would be able to have a go. ” – Margaret, TEXTtile Maker.

Here are some of the characters and drawn backstories;

The whole point of the exercise was to get the creative juices flowing, spark the imagination and come together and share ideas and stories. Naturally some collaboration went on as well, which added immensely to the experience and  conjured up many twists and turns for each others characters.

“My imagination goes off the edge sometimes! I can see anything and I can’t hear properly so I have to imagine things. I draw things from the past.” – J. TEXTtile Maker

We also managed to squeeze in some ink drawings… we truly were caught in a creative whirlwind – too much for one oldblog post even, so I will put this up and get started on the next. Keep reading and if you are enjoying the posts we would love to hear your feedback so leave a comment and share with others.

“I look forward to Monday’s now. I even tell people I can’t do anything on a Monday afternoon because I don’t want to miss the group. I love it, you have fun.” – J. TEXTtile Maker

An exemplary effort from the group this week, great work ladies… and Colin.  Loving the collaboration between Sense Staff Volunteers and our elderly makers. Intergenerational groups make for energetic, creative hubs. Long may it continue!


Author: Alex McEwan

Alex is an artist who specialises in inclusive and accessible community arts projects, such as Sense's TEXTtile and Quilt Tales.

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